After last week’s premiere, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The whole show could have gone either way, but I truly wasn’t expecting to have this much awesomeness dropped on me.  The episode picks up right where it left off last week; Shu is confused and stunned at what happened and is merely trying to make sense of what is going on.  As he stumbles through the rubble, he’s attacked from the left by another mecha (which we now learned is called Endrave) and Shu instinctively jumps out of the way of the machine – being assisted by the new power he’s attained – and swings at the missiles, shouting at nothing in particular to stay away.  The missiles explode behind him and he takes down the Endrave, shutting down it’s connection with it’s human pilot.  Here, we also learn that the pilots are not actually inside the mechas, but are instead synching up with them from a remote location.  Think Evangelion, but without the plugs.  Once the Endraves are taken care of, Shu spots Inori lying on the ground and runs towards her, terrified that she’s been injured.  He throws his sword on the ground as he scoops her into his arms, asking her if she’s alright.  As he picks her up, her chest begins to glow and Shu watches in fascination as the sword he was using moments before dissipates and returns to Inori’s body.  Meanwhile, the Undertaker’s Endrave – piloted by Ayase – is patrolling the area, trying to defeat any lingering enemies while Gai retrieves the civilians and his men from the wreckage.  Tsumugi, who is in what appears to be a virtual reality control room of sorts, is conversing with Ayase and giving her coordinates for their final enemy.  Ayase soon encounters him and is so overwhelmed by their power that Tsumugi has to hit the ‘bailout’ button to sever the girl’s link to the machine moments before the enemy shoves it’s sword through the central circuitry of the Endrave, effectively ‘killing’ it.

Switching our attention back to Shu and Inori, we find out that Gai has given Shu fifteen seconds to get Inori to safety before they launch their final attack on the remaining enemies.  Overwhelmed, Shu gathers up Inori and flees, thankfully escaping before anything major happened.  Shu and Inori meet Gai at the HQ for Undertaker, though not exactly in the actual base itself.  Gai then congratulates Shu on his bravery and skill, but scolds Inori for not completing her mission.  Shu then asks Gai to take it easy on Inori because she did the best she could, but Gai explains to Shu that the genome (ie, the test tube Inori had taken from the laboratory) which gave Shu his power was originally meant for him.  He’s furious that a high schooler who would have easily ignored everything around him had gotten what’s called the King’s Mark instead of him, and rightfully so.  Before Gai can continue, he receives a call from Ayase and Tsumugi.  Ayase apologizes for being unable to defeat all of their enemies, but Gai tells her that she did a good job considering she had an extremely old Endrave model to work with.  Ayase becomes flustered and it’s rather obvious that she has feelings for Gai, which isn’t lost on Tsumugi.  As soon as their conversation ends, Tsumugi starts teasing Ayase, which further flusters the pilot.  After the call, Gai goes on to explain that the genome allows whoever is graced with the King’s Mark to use a Void – someone who is able to form weapons simply from their will – to combat evil and that every Void has a different weapon.  Gai then turns to Inori and tells Shu that Inori is a Void and he reluctantly says that Inori is now Shu’s to use.  This baffles Shu, but before he can say anything else, Gai grabs Shu’s collar and tells him that he has two choices; he can sit quietly and be selected to be thrown out of this world, or adapt and change.

Shoving Shu away from him, Gai receives another phone call, this time from one of his men on the front lines.  They’re reporting that the Whitecoats (basically, people under the name “Anti-bodies” who search out contamination and destroy it, though they usually end up just killing civilians for the hell of it) are storming an underground parking garage that some innocents have taken as refuge.  He continues on to tell Gai that the unit that destroyed Ayase’s Endrave was piloted by Kill-‘Em-All Daryl.  Concerned, Gai calls an emergency meeting in the headquarters where he informs everyone that Undertaker will no longer be performing covert assaults on GHQ, but that they’ll finally make themselves known to the world.  Everyone is excited and willing to go through with the plan, though one man – who refers to himself as the script writer – protests at first, but Gai is able to convince him that it’s the right thing to do.  Everyone then splits up and prepares for their tasks while Gai pulls Shu and Inori aside to give them their tasks.  Some time later, we see the Whitecoats lining up a group of men who are bound, gagged and blindfolded in an execution line.  A young woman is pleading with them to spare her husband’s life since he’s not contaminated, but when they don’t answer, she runs over to Daryl.  He appears surprised when she grabs his arm, but quickly turns murderous and kicks the poor woman to the ground.  Everyone from Undertaker’s end are clamoring for everyone to get into position so they can save the innocents before anything happens, but Shu watching in horror from his hiding place with Inori as the soldiers execute everyone.  Daryl even kills the woman, leaving her child and orphan, all because her son was calling out to her.  Just as that happens, Undertaker launches into their assault and sends missiles towards the soldiers.  Daryl dashes for his Endrave plug (not sure what they’re called, so I’m just going to call it a plug until further notice) and launches his unit in a counter attack.  The Whitecoat’s commanding officer orders everyone to fire, causing significant damage to the surrounding area.

Shu is watching in horror and isn’t sure whether or not he’ll be able to do anything to help.  Inori comforts him by saying that it’s his destiny and that she is his to use as he pleases.  While my perverted mind was running through all the possible scenarios of what that could potentially entail, Gai makes himself known to everyone.  He only did this because Undertaker has so many missiles locked onto the commanding officer’s command room that there’s no way they could counterattack before being blown to smithereens.  Gai then states his demands for the Whitecoats to leave the civilians alone and if they don’t, that he’ll bring them to justice.  All of their chattering seems to be more or less as a distraction for Shu to make his way to Daryl’s plug and withdraw the pilot’s Void weapon.  The Whitecoats then launch their own missiles at Gai and Shu manages to fire a shot from the Kaleidoscope, which creates a barrier around Gai and the rest of the Undertaker forces, bouncing all of the missiles right back at GHQ.  After everything is said and done, Shu stumbles around the rubble, taking in everything that happened.  He seems overwhelmed by the fact that not only did he save a bunch of lives with his actions, but he helped end some in the same moment.  Gai approaches him, saying that he performed admirably and formally asks Shu to join the ranks of Undertaker.  The next day, we see Shu in school and he’s idly wondering what would have happened if he had accepted Gai’s offer to join them.  His attention is brought to the front of the classroom when a transfer student is announced.  Shu exclaims something when he sees Inori walking into the room.  He demands to know if it’s a joke (probably from no one in particular) and Inori tilts her head, saying that she’s dead serious.

Opinions:  This was another action-packed episode, but it also answered quite a few questions I had from the premiere.  We found out what the Whitecoats are as well as a good amount of information on GHQ as a whole (though I didn’t exactly go into details on it here).  Daryl scares the shit out of me!  At first I thought he’d be a normal guy, who’s only piloting the Endraves because his dad is one of the higher-ups in GHQ and it’s expected of him, so imagine my surprise when I found out that he’s a murderous psycho!  Shu really did perform amazingly, especially given the fact that he had ten seconds to get Daryl’s Void (who saw that coming?) and get into position in order to keep everyone from being blown to pieces.  It almost seems like he has a subconscious instinct on how to move and use the Voids, which will be interesting to learn more about.  I wanted to slap Shu for not taking up Gai’s offer, but I did laugh when Inori showed up in Shu’s class.  Gai, you’re such a troll!  I’m definitely interested to see if Inori and Gai will be able to convince Shu to join them or if it’s a lost cause.

Score: A/A+

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As a 22-year old gamer chick, anime/manga addict and all around geek, Nagi is one of the prized members of the Anime Evo family! She likes any sort of genre so long as the artwork is shiny and the plot good (it also doesn’t hurt to have some fan-service and gore either!) and will give any anime or manga at shot.

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